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Hybrid skills reshape jobs

Employers are now demoing workers with ‘hybrid’ skills who possess both technical knowledge and softer, ‘people-focused’ skillset according to the latest Demand for Skilled Talent report from Robert Half (

“From a skills evolution and demand perspective, COVID-19 can be seen as the ultimate disruptor and accelerator,” says Matt Weston, Managing Director, Robert Half.  “One recent report estimating that 21 million UK workers will need basic digital skills and 14 million enhanced interpersonal and advanced communications skills by 2030, the time to take constructive steps in developing hybrid skills is now – particularly for those companies eager to the more resilient, adaptable, and agile workforces needed for their pandemic recovery efforts.”

With hybrid workforces now seen as a permanent part of the employment landscape by 89% of British employers (as surveyed by Robert Half), job advertisements are requesting more people-focused skills for technical roles and, conversely, more technical, and data-handling proficiencies for administrative and marketing job functions.

In particular, new hybrid skill sets are impacting technical roles include those in Technology where 52% of system administrators are now required to satisfy customers; 51% of software developments now need to be able to establish customer rapport; and 42% of those in web and multimedia development must now provide customer follow-up.

In Finance & Accounting, 100% of finance and insurance clerks must have CRM abilities; 46% of securities and finance dealers are required to establish customer rapport; and 25% of management and organisational analysts must apply conceptual thinking.

Conversely, for more traditionally ‘people-focused’ roles, there has been an even greater uptick in demand for technical skills.  In Office, HR and Secretarial, 82% of general office clerks must have business process skills; 50% in administrative and executive secretaries must be knowledgeable of business intelligence skills; and 23% of enquiry Clerks must now have database management capabilities.

In comparison, there has been a 208% rise in calls for advertising and public relations managers with software configuration skills, and 90% rise in the demand for advertising and public relations managers with CSS skills.  Over 70% of sales and marketing managers now nee to be able to apply information security policies.

“The skills employers need are not only evolving rapidly but also reshaping and combining in new and often unexpected ways,” comments Matt Sigelman, CEO,  Burning Glass Technologies, and co-producers of the ‘Demand for Skilled Talent’ report.  “Just a few years ago, no one would have thought advertising and marketing managers would need to configure software, or that software developers would need the skills to build rapport with customers.  But advancing technology is creating both new opportunities for workers and new challenges for employers trying to fill roles.”

“As companies swiftly adapted to remote work, the three top business priorities for the first half of 2021 amongst General Managers we recently surveyed include talent management (44%), identifying new opportunities for business growth (42%) and investing in new technologies (41%),” says Weston.  “This combination of talent, business growth, and new technologies is not only informing recovery strategies for many companies at this stage of the pandemic but is also directly translating into new-look job descriptions and evolving skill sets.  As much as the ‘anywhere workforce’ is likely to be a permanent part of the employment landscape moving forward, so too is demand for these new hybrid skills.”

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